On June 2, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released long-anticipated proposed regulations under the Clean Air Act that would for the first time set carbon emissions reduction targets for existing US electric power plants.
The proposed regulations would require that the states individually or collectively create systems that would reduce carbon emissions from any electricity generation unit (EGU) located within their borders. Individual states would have to submit their proposed plans to the EPA by June 30, 2016. There are additional deadlines for states that choose to implement programs collectively.
Overall, the proposed regulations would attempt to achieve by 2030 a nationwide carbon dioxide reduction of 30% from 2005 baseline emissions. According to the EPA, under the proposed rules, the US would achieve an EGU fuel source mix of 30% coal, 30% natural gas, and 40% other source by 2030.
Companies should consider how the interaction of these proposals and the scheduled remaining life of many tax incentives could affect potential returns from renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.